Many women feel uncomfortable with the shape, size and overall appearance of their vagina. However, a recent study published in the journal BJOG, concludes that there is no such thing as a “normal vagina.” This is the largest study ever conducted on vaginas and vulvas of women, and may impact how women view their own genitalia.
Research team looked at 657 women; ages 15 – 84
The research team is from Lucerne Cantonal Hospital in Switzerland. They looked at 657 women; ages 15-84. The team measured the inner and outer labia, vaginal opening, clitoris and perineum of the participants. After the data was compiled, a wide range of variation was seen. There was actually no average size or shape that could be called “normal” from the data.
No average size or shape that could be called “normal”
The labia, or lips of the vagina, varied widely. Labia majora, or outer labia, was measured between 12mm and 180mm in length. The labia minora, or inner labia, had a similar range, 5mm to 100mm in length. Clitoral size was seen between 1mm and 22mm with a length between 0.5mm and 34mm. Vaginal openings varied between 6mm and 75mm.
Study asserts, “no vagina is wrong or weird”
The authors of the study point out that this variation in size depicts biological differences and underlines that completely healthy and normal vaginas and vulva can look very differently from each other. They further point out that “no vagina is wrong or weird.”
All the women in this study were Caucasian, and the authors do plan on conducting further research with different ethnicities.
Why is a study like this necessary? Think unnecessary plastic surgeries
There is a major increase in plastic surgeries targeted at “correcting” the shape and size of the vagina and vulva of women – labiaplasties. A survey conducted in 2016, of 443 Australian GPs, showed that nearly all doctors care for patients who are anxious or upset with the appearance of their genitalia. The international Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported in 2017, that there was a 39 percent increase in labiaplasties between 2015 and 2016. The most common complaint was that their vulvas were asymmetrical or too large.
- Kreklau A, Vaz I, Oehme F, et al. Measurements of a “normal vulva” in women aged 15-84: A cross-sectional prospective single centre study. BJOG. 2018.
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Razi Berry is the founder and publisher of the journal Naturopathic Doctor News & Review that has been in print since 2005 and the premier consumer-faced website of naturopathic medicine, NaturalPath. She is the host of The Natural Cancer Prevention Summit and The Heart Revolution-Heal, Empower and Follow Your Heart, and the popular 10 week Sugar Free Summer program. From a near death experience as a young girl that healed her failing heart, to later overcoming infertility and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia though naturopathic medicine, Razi has lived the mind/body healing paradigm. Her projects uniquely capture the tradition and philosophy of naturopathy: The healing power of nature, the vital life force in every living thing and the undeniable role that science and mind/body medicine have in creating health and overcoming dis-ease. Follow Razi on Facebook at Razi Berry and join us at Love is Medicine to explore the convergence of love and health.